The Perfect RV

The Perfect RV

600 500 Kristi Corder

Is there such a thing as the perfect RV? I’ll tell you straight…NOPE! Just like there’s not a perfect house, a perfect car, or a perfect person. You might be able to get something that’s close to being perfect for you or your family, but I’ve never heard anyone say their RV is absolutely perfect.

We bought our new to us Open Road fifth wheel in July 2016. It has been great and has served us well. It has more storage than any camper I think I’ve ever seen. Even on our three-week trip to Florida, we had storage space that went unused the entire time. It also has solid wood cabinets throughout (none of the lightweight stuff you’ll find in RVs today).

There is one downside in this little camper. It only has 2 bunks, and we have 3 kids. Yep, that means one kid gets stuck sleeping on the dinette that makes into a bed. She chose it, and she seems to enjoy it, but that set up definitely won’t work for us for full-time RV living. So we’ve been on the hunt for an RV that will work better for our needs.

The first time I stepped foot into the Jayco North Point with the midbunk and loft, I absolutely loved it. But the more we looked at it and others like it, the more we just felt we needed something different.

Brent ended up liking the Open Range 3X that has a bunk room with 4 bunk beds. It’s also a little bit wider than most RVs and is more insulated which would work well for full-time living. But it just seemed really dark inside. What’s up with having all shades of brown in RVs? And those tiny windows? I NEED COLOR AND LOTS OF NATURAL LIGHT!!!

We actually spent hours over a few weekends at local RV dealerships going in and out of different campers getting a feel for all of the layouts. It seemed as though we either loved the front half OR loved the back half of the campers we went inside. It was never BOTH. We also looked at toy haulers but even those didn’t seem just right.

I don’t know why, but the first two or three times we went browsing at the RV dealership near us, we never went inside the Heartland Gateway model they had. I just happened to be curious one day and decided to step inside. “Oh, WOW!” was all I could say. It was the different I needed!

The openness of the Gateway 3712rdmb blew me away. In many campers with a midbunk, you step right up from the outside to a wall in your face in the hallway. This midbunk has double doors that are angled, so when you step inside you aren’t face to face with a wall. This makes the whole living space feel more open. It also has a rear living area with HUGE windows. This brings in the light that I most certainly want and need. And the kitchen is like it’s own separate area, but is still open to the rest of the living area. DIFFERENT!

I don’t remember Brent being completely on board with this one the first time he saw it. He thought it had some great features, but he wasn’t super excited about it like I was. But the more we went back and looked at it and the more he studied it online, the more it grew on him. He had to admit that he couldn’t stop thinking about the large windows and how open the living area felt.

So after looking on the Heartland website, we saw the floorplan for the new Gateway 3713ck. It’s the same exact floorplan as the 3712rdmb with one modification: one less couch in the living area. In its place, there’s a bit more storage space as well as a fireplace.   On the outside, there’s also an outdoor kitchen. This was added because when the couch was removed and the storage space extended inside, this left room for an outdoor kitchen that could slide in to the area of the storage space from the outside. PERFECT!

So here we sit, waiting on quotes for this new model. The manufacturer sent us pictures today showing the few changes that have been made for this model as compared to the 2017 Gateways. I’m excited for the bigger kitchen sink and the lighter colored countertops! Brent is just excited to get it ordered.

We’d love to hear about your RV if you have one. If not, let us know what features you’d want to have in your perfect RV.

33 comments
  • I definitely want to follow this journey!

  • Wow, these are super fancy! I have never traveled in an RV but I’m sure it would be fun.

  • I did not know RVs could be so big and fancy. Living in the city I know nothing about them lol. And I don’t know anyone who has one either.

  • Wow! Talk about an upgrade. We wold love to do this as a family. Having a kitchen and bathroom are musts lol. I can only imagine the fun adventures we would go on. *sigh* Maybe when we retire. Hopefully early!

    • Yes! Kitchen and bathroom are definite musts, though I know many RVers that do this in vans or small campers with no bathroom.

  • We have loved all of our RV’s! But we would love to have bigger and better too. I just love the memories made when we are all together!

  • We’ve had a 26ft toy hauler in the past and absolutely loved it. Of course my husband now wants a fifth wheel and I want an RV (think tour bus status!), hence we have nothing because we can’t agree!

    • Ha! Ha! Sounds about like us at the beginning of our search. He wanted one thing and I wanted something else.

  • This would be the type of camper, I would be interested in! Look forward to hearing more about your journey!

  • This is so incredibly cool! I love the freedom that would come with RV’ing it full time! I have so many questions though! Do you end up saving money since you have to fill up the tank so much? Do you often stay at camp sites for RV’s, etc.?

    • We aren’t out there full-time yet, but I’m pretty sure we will save money. It’s not going to cost us as much in gas, propane, and campsite fees as it does for a mortgage, electricity, two cars and gas in both, insurance, etc., etc. Plus we won’t be traveling every day, more like once a week or once every few weeks. We also have a generator and will have solar so that we can boondock in certain locations. Great questions! Let me know if you have more.

  • What a fun tour of all the different options and possibilities! So fun to dream with you. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • I’ve never seen a blog post on this subject! This is great info!

  • I remember my parents having an RV when I was little. They have changed so much in the recent years!

    • They have, yet they’re not much up on the times as far as giving the inside more color. Brown, brown and more brown.

  • Seeing inside RV’s always amazes me. They are like a fully equipt house. I travel in a little vintage camper, so it has no frills.

  • Wow, the task of finding just the right RV can be daunting yet a thrilling experience. We found an Open Road that was excellent for our family, so I agree with you that they are nice campers. A bigger kitchen would definitely be what our family needs. Counters!

    • Yes! You’ll have to check out my blog post “She’s Here”. It shows a picture of our new camper’s kitchen. I love it and all the counter space as compared to most other RVs.

  • RV’s are gorgeous and much better than camping in a tent! Maybe one day!

  • That is so exciting! The floorplan looks awesome! I can’t believe it has a fireplace!

  • I love joining my parents in their RV! But the last trip the siding on the outside starting sliding off!! So now I have to wait to go again until it’s fixed! Blah. Glad you are having so much fun with yours!

  • That looks awesome and really spacious! I’m impressed.

  • Maggie | TotallyTeenTravel.com February 22, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I’m always amazed at what they fit into RVs these days! Good grief, I’ve lived in apartments smaller than those! 🙂

  • WASHER AND DRYER!!! How will you do laundry?! We looked at 5th wheels a few years ago when we had a truck to pull it, and in addition to YOUR requirements (windows and color – I agree, something needs to be done about the interior styling of RV’s! Hire a designer!), my biggest requirement was the it gave a washer/dryer. I am not a laundromat girl! Any traveling we would do would put us in very dirty places like beaches and hiking trails 😉
    You know, you can always get peel-and-stick wallpapers if you find you need more color or texture. I keep seeing brick and shiplap wallpapers that are so pretty.

    • Ours DOES have washer and dryer hookups…but we won’t be using them at this point. I’m actually kind of looking forward to using the laundromat. I only do laundry once a week currently, and we typically have around 5-6 loads. I figure I will still do laundry once a week, BUT I should be able to knock it all out in 2 hours. Way better than a whole day! And yes, I’ve seen lots of people paint or re-wallpaper their RVs. For now, I’ll spice it up a bit with some colorful decor.

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